AbbVie, Allergan, Roche could join Biogen, UCB in Acorda hunt: analyst

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Jefferies analyst Michael Yee wrote on Thursday that Roche, along with AbbVie, Allergan and others, could pursue an Acorda buy.

Neurology-focused Biogen and UCB are already rumored to be eyeing an Acorda buyout. But one analyst thinks a host of other major players could join their ranks.

The way Jefferies’ Michael Yee sees it, AbbVie, Allergan, Roche, Shire and Mitsubishi could all get in on the deal action thanks to their neurology infrastructure, Parkinson’s drugs that could complement Acorda candidate Inbrija, or both, he wrote in a Thursday note to clients. He expects Acorda to fetch $2 billion or more in a sale.

RELATED: Acorda draws buyout interest from neuro-focused Biogen, UCB: report

Inbrija, which Yee expects will win an FDA OK late this year, “is an attractive asset that could be easily integrated by several neurology companies,” he wrote, adding that he forecasts $300 million to $500 million for the product.

Of course, that’s assuming the FDA accepts Acorda’s application, but the company’s leaders appear “confident that NDA acceptance of the Inbrija package should occur any day now,” Yee wrote.

Activist hedge fund Scopia Capital Management, for one, shares Yee’s view that several biopharma players could end up on Acorda’s list of suitors. Back in August, it wrote to Acorda’s board that “we are highly confident that multiple qualified, potential buyers would be interested in engaging with Acorda,” while piling on the pressure to sell.

RELATED: Hard-hit Acorda bows to activist's urging, scouts potential buyers: report

Acorda has apparently taken Scopia’s advice to heart. The company, which is scrambling to win an Inbrija thumbs up before knockoffs move in on key multiple sclerosis therapy Ampyra, has tapped Centerview Partners and MTS Health Partners to help it explore a sale, The Wall Street Journal reported last month.

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